Breaking Creative Blocks: Artist’s Dabble
You may not know this is a thing- but as a creative person it may be something you have noticed in yourself- creative people are distractible. Have you ever had anyone tease you about staying focused or on task? Have you ever noticed you may get excited about multiple projects? You may start something, which makes you think of another thing, then get excited about yet a third that you want to try. Of course there are degrees of everything, and there are certainly degrees of distractibility that become clinical and troublesome- but this is a trait you have that in general, can be healthy! Let me explain.
Being distractible can be harnessed emotionally. We already know that creative people feel emotions more strongly than others. Good news- amongst the coping skills you have built in- you can be distracted! If you have ever spent time with small children, you know this technique well. It works just as effectively on everyone. Feeling anxious? Turn 180* and do something completely different. Distract yourself by making a change. Inside? Go out. Alone? Go be with someone. Working at a computer? Go cook a meal. There are endless varieties and options- harness your natural creative instincts and distract yourself.
Being distractible can be harnessed creatively. We have had several discussions over past posts about breaking creative blocks. Here is yet another technique to use: distract yourself by trying something different. Or, as I like to call it, “dabbling.”
A natural part of the ebbs and flows of your creative cycle are periods of lower creative energies, fewer ideas or otherwise feeling stuck. If you are feeling stuck in your chosen creative medium, try to garner inspiration and energy by dabbling in another. Painter’s block? Listen to music. Writer’s block? Try some painting! By trying something different, you take pressure off yourself to achieve certain goals and outcomes and naturally become more playful, and more easily absorb energy from a previously less explored creative source.
If you aren’t stuck, but become excited or “distracted” by a different project, keep a running list, board, sketchbook or other record of things that inspire you. When you become blocked in the future, go to your list and pick something different. Abandon the previous idea and “dabble” to reignite your creative spirits. Then take this new energy with you, back to your previous project.
Being distractible isn’t a weakness or a character flaw. It is a natural part of your creative personality that you can harness to strengthen yourself. Give yourself permission to be distracted. Take control of the trait and it becomes a natural skill for you to use purposefully and at will.
Explore during your next session times you have felt stuck or distracted, and ways to take advantage of this important part of your creative personality!
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is a Creativity Coach, Creativity Counselor and Professional Artist in Sykesville, Maryland. She provides Online Creativity Counseling in Maryland and Virginia, and Online Creativity Coaching throughout the USA, Canada and the UK.
The information provided in this blog is from my own clinical experiences and training. It is intended to supplement your clinical care. Never make major life changes before consulting with your treatment team. If you are unsure of your safety or wellbeing, do not hesitate to get help immediately.